Accidental Gods podcast

No More Fairy Stories: Writing the way through, one tale at a time - with Denise Baden

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If you've listened to this podcast at all recently, you'll know that I'm in the editing phase of the new book - the phase where we 'carve it into tiny pieces, throw significant chunks of it in the recycling (because words are never wasted and text storage is basically free) and rebuild the rest into something shinier, sharper and generally more succinct.' And I'm telling you this because this week's guest is a fellow writer who knows what it's like to stare at a blank page until your forehead bleeds - but in this case, she's also an academic psychologist who has the data to back up the value of Thrutopian writing. 

Dr Denise Baden is a Professor of Sustainable Practice at the University of Southampton, and she says, that 'working in sustainability and climate change, the more you know the scarier it is. Like the sun, you can’t look too closely at it, but face to one side, you make your way, because in fact, it’s easy to put everything right. All the solutions are right here, they just have to catch on. Walking lightly and mindfully upon the earth is so doable. I started writing as therapy, with green solutions as the main ingredient, stories to soothe my soul. Then my characters and their stories took over centre stage, leaving the green solutions to season the stew.'

Denise is one of those people who sees a problem and starts creating real world solution. in 2018, she set up the series of free Green Stories writing competitions to inspire writers to create positive visions of what a sustainable society might look like, and to tell stories that showcase solutions, not just problems because her data show that's what we need. In the process she continued to research what works in terms of fiction and climate communication - as a result of which, she has written a novel, Habitat Man, and she compiled an anthology of short stories  called No More Fairy Tales: Stories to Save Our Planet. which she had ready by COP27 so there was a copy for every delegate to read. Magnificently, she is on the Forbes list of Climate Leaders:

Denise Website
Green Stories website  NEXT NOVEL PRIZE DEADLINE IS 26th JUNE
Denise on Twitter:
Denise publications and academic record
Sustainable HairCare project:
Details of the project with Bafta and Albert

Key hashtags are #ClimateCHaracters and #HotOrNot. The survey is here (please go an complete it!)

The images were designed by (check out their website – the first and third especially are hilarious and the one about the old XR protestor is incredibly moving.

Thrutopia website

Books mentioned by other authors
Carbon Diaries by Saci Lloyd
The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson

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